The Planted Tank Forum banner
1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
782 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My 16yo son had decided he wants a nano tank for ghost shrimp (yep, he likes ghost shrimp best, mostly because they are really active compared to cherries). I'm thinking I'll let him use one of my 2.5g nursery tanks, possibly one of the 5g tanks, since I'm not breeding fish in the foreseeable future.

The tank is definitely going to be low-tech, and the light I have is low-ish for the 5g, maybe med for the 2.5g on account of the shallow depth. I want to keep ferts to a balanced minimum to help deter algae (I'll probably do 1/2 doses of Flourish and API Leaf Zone, and can use tabs for anything planted in substrate).

Knowing my son, he'll probably leave the light on too much anyway, so I'll probably need to drop in an amano and a couple nerites to keep algae somewhat managed since ghost shrimp aren't exceptionally active algae pickers.

He wants something "weird" and "colorful". We've agreed it would be neat to make lava rock pillars (attached to slate bases), and I have some leftover ecocomplete that will match the black lava rock well for substrate. That should also help provide a good base for nitrifying bacteria since the filter will be small.

I'm scratching my head for "weird" plants that will do well in a low-light, low-ferts tank. I do have a few bits of buce and one bit of anubias nana petite to attach to the pillars. I might stick one or two crypt undulata red in the back if I do the 5g.

I know java fern will survive in there too, but he wants something more colorful. It's also gotta fit in a nano without needing constant trimming.

Any ideas guys?

He finally is excited about a tank (kid's been rolling his eyes about my hobby for years), and I want to give him something neat that won't kill my wallet. If it wasn't so expensive, I'd get a whole load more buce in different colors because that would be pretty sweet, but at $7-$15 for a 2" plant, I can't afford to go nuts.

Would alteranthera do ok in that setup, and would it grow slowly enough not to require frequent maintenance? I've heard it isn't a fast growing stem, but have never tried it myself.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
117 Posts
If you lean more towards the medium end of the light spectrum, hydrocotyle tripartita "japan" is a really nice little bright green plant that i like a lot for small setups.
Its bushy in a group too.
I just find it doesn't like to be shaded out though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Not gonna lie, i think lights adjustment is really important no matter how low tech your tank would be, maybe grab a timer plug is a must no matter how low tech the tank is. Its quite hard to name a bright colored plants for a low tech tank, but if i can suggest maybe a Red Cryptocoryne Wendtii should be fine. IMO dont waste your money on Buce cause its pretty expensive plant with a really slow growth. In other hand, a lava rock hardscape will go handy with some wood+moss (Java Moss would be great in low tech). Its gonna be bushy with a hint of red from Red Cryptocoryne Wendtii and shrimp do love moss.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,141 Posts
Not gonna lie, i think lights adjustment is really important no matter how low tech your tank would be, maybe grab a timer plug is a must no matter how low tech the tank is. Its quite hard to name a bright colored plants for a low tech tank, but if i can suggest maybe a Red Cryptocoryne Wendtii should be fine. IMO dont waste your money on Buce cause its pretty expensive plant with a really slow growth. In other hand, a lava rock hardscape will go handy with some wood+moss (Java Moss would be great in low tech). Its gonna be bushy with a hint of red from Red Cryptocoryne Wendtii and shrimp do love moss.
Beat me too it. I'm doing low tech and crypts are wonderful!! My experience with red plants makes me suggest against most of them as most will not look the way you want them to without high lighting/ CO2/ properly balanced ferts and long lengths of high intensity lighting like you're describing will burn low light plants and contribute significantly to algae blooms. I'd stick with crypts to add color, java mosses and java ferns. There's also "betta bulbs" and they have a "red lotus" that's a decent nymphea (sic?) lily that I love because it's intensely red/ burgundy and, from my personal experience (others may have different ones) they will grow under just about any light situation without ferts or anything. I don't know how well they'd do in a 2.5 gallon but I had one in a 5 gallon and it was a beautiful centerpiece.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
575 Posts
Red root floaters might be another source of color worth considering.

Well chosen hardscape can add a lot to a tank that is limited to a plain jane plant palette. He'd really need to pick it out himself though, since it should be to his taste.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
782 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Yah, if I thought he would actually remember to turn on the lights on a schedule, then I'd probably give him some of the offsets that are coming in on my downoi or add some ludwigia mini in there. I want to avoid java moss because it will eventually get out of hand if not maintained, and once it touches hardscape it will return forever (I'm fighting it in my 20g nano scape and my 30 cube right now).

How about subwassertang? That stuff looks pretty weird and is reported to grow slowly. Would it tolerate low-med light on an iffy schedule in hard water?

Has anyone tried the variegated anubias nana? Is it as easy/tolerant as other anubias?

I will probably toss a couple windelov java fern in since I already have a few attached to lava bits from an old tank. Slow-growing plants are a feature in this case; I can maintain a scape in my room or the living room, but his bedroom is basically a demilitarized zone and I'll have a fun enough time doing water changes weekly. Thankfully shrimp have a low bioload, and ghost shrimp are pretty easy, so it shouldn't need more cleaning than a once-a-week 20% pwc unless he goes crazy feeding.

Oh, I should add that his plan is to have the regular full-spectrum light on by day, and switch the light to the actinic setting at night. We discovered that a couple of my plants (especially the downoi, which turned a magenta pink) glow weird colors in actinic lighting. Anything easy/slow that would light up crazy under the actinic lights would be awesome.

He tends to like odd stuff; the lava pillars are meant to look alien, and he likes the idea of a strange exoplanet look.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
629 Posts
Not colorful, but might be considered weird would be moss balls? Might not go with scape though.

Pictured is my 3gal betta bowl. Cheap Ikea led desk lamp runs it. I turn it on when I think of it. Sometimes it goes a day without. It's been running for about 2 years now. No Ferts added. Mostly sand substrate with a sprinkling of Aquasoil (I guess can be thought of as like a root tab but has other benefits). Mini red has been in this bowl for about a 2 weeks now. Although floating. Can't tell if new growth is retaining red or not as it's been slow and the leaves are quite small.



I have another bowl that I just setup, better light, all Aquasoil, that the Red mini is in (past month). Magenta might be a better description of it's color, rather than red under the conditions.



Sent from my Pixel 3 XL using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Yah, if I thought he would actually remember to turn on the lights on a schedule, then I'd probably give him some of the offsets that are coming in on my downoi or add some ludwigia mini in there. I want to avoid java moss because it will eventually get out of hand if not maintained, and once it touches hardscape it will return forever (I'm fighting it in my 20g nano scape and my 30 cube right now).

How about subwassertang? That stuff looks pretty weird and is reported to grow slowly. Would it tolerate low-med light on an iffy schedule in hard water?

Has anyone tried the variegated anubias nana? Is it as easy/tolerant as other anubias?

I will probably toss a couple windelov java fern in since I already have a few attached to lava bits from an old tank. Slow-growing plants are a feature in this case; I can maintain a scape in my room or the living room, but his bedroom is basically a demilitarized zone and I'll have a fun enough time doing water changes weekly. Thankfully shrimp have a low bioload, and ghost shrimp are pretty easy, so it shouldn't need more cleaning than a once-a-week 20% pwc unless he goes crazy feeding.

Oh, I should add that his plan is to have the regular full-spectrum light on by day, and switch the light to the actinic setting at night. We discovered that a couple of my plants (especially the downoi, which turned a magenta pink) glow weird colors in actinic lighting. Anything easy/slow that would light up crazy under the actinic lights would be awesome.

He tends to like odd stuff; the lava pillars are meant to look alien, and he likes the idea of a strange exoplanet look.
i'd take anubias than buce anydays lol. In my country anubias nana grow really great because the average temprature roughly touch 27 degrees celcius. Under than 26 degrees i dont think it will grow a lot but they gonna be really fine (i left some of them in my unused tank with little to no maintenance...three months passed theyre still alive)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
782 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
He said he definitely wants a couple of the mini miramo balls. "Shrimp soccer balls" is what he calls them.

At this rate, I think "weird" is a good word for what we'll end up with, but as long as he likes it, then that's what matters. Lol, I feel like I'm betraying all the good aquascape techniques I've learned over the years. I guess "beauty" is in the eye of the beholder.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
782 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well, it seems the tank plan has evolved. While looking on YouTube for demonstrations of how to use Great Stuff foam to attach stones into rock formations, we found a super cool video in Korean (which I don't speak, but it didn't actually matter) of a guy who made a false floor halfway up the tank with a hole in it to create a subterranean cave area. My kid thought it was awesome, so we're going to give it a go.

The new plants list is going to look like a forest on top. Water will only be about 4" deep from substrate to surface, so I think light will be strong enough to do a monte carlo carpet with thin sticks as tree trunks, which will be topped above the water line with amphibious moss. I'll plant a few downoi and maybe ranunculus inundatus from my 20g to look like ferns and forest-floor plants. Possibly add a small clump of DHG here and there.

Down in the cave, the false floor will be supported by rock columns and a solid back and side walls, with a few loose stones or shorter formations. I'll be mounting a red submersible LED spotlight to give a volcanic glow. I might mount the buce along the lower mouth of the opening into the cave where it will be shaded but still get light and can transition visually into the "underground" region. If it looks like enough light is coming in, I'll probably add some subwassertang on the floor or walls below the cavern mouth.

This is either going to be incredibly cool, or will result in abject failure and crushing disappointment.

Definitely "weird" regardless.
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top